Inside TreeHouse - March 2017
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Najah is a former TreeHouse teen who is now an intern at the New Hope location where she serves as a mentor. She was kind enough to share her story with us.
Q: Tell us a bit about your life before you arrived at TreeHouse.
A: I came from home with two parents, but my dad was alcoholic, which caused lots of hurt and confusion. I didn’t have a lot of adult figures in my life that were positive role models.
Q: How did TreeHouse change your relationship with God?
A: It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God, but I didn’t have an outlet. At TreeHouse, we talked about God, and it sparked my curiosity. I started asking staff all these questions. It was then I realized I wanted to know more about God. I went on a mission trip, gave my life to God, and my life was drastically changed.
Q: What other ways did TreeHouse nurture that relationship?
A: On retreats, I was indulged in an atmosphere of talking about God for 2-3 days. During Winter Blast, it’s waking up to people who love you, and going to sleep to people who love you. When you go home, back to real life, you never forget those feelings.
Q: You now are a mentor to Niah, a high school sophomore and current TreeHouse teen. How has that experience been?
A: Hearing Niah’s testimony sparked a relationship. She also has many questions about God and her faith, and is going through a really tough time in her family life. Sometimes we share our struggles. Sometimes when she doesn’t want to talk but doesn’t want to be at home, we just hang out in the art room and do art or go to the gym. I’m doing for her what TreeHouse did for me. I remember what I felt back then, and now I just think, “I want you to have even more.”
Q: Can you share any memories from TreeHouse that have stuck with you?
A: I remember a mission trip in 2010 to South Dakota, we visited a Native American reservation. Marcus Peterson gave an analogy, he said, “If you have faith and know God but don’t tell your friends, it’s like watching them drown and having a safety net but not using it.” That gave me courage to stop being selfish and afraid to share about God. I wouldn’t want a friend to ever look at me and say, “Why didn’t you ever tell me?”
Q: What have been the most lasting, positive changes in your daily life?
A: If it wasn’t for TreeHouse, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It changed me a lot to have someone there for me, consistently loving on me. It started with head knowledge, hearing, “you’re loveable, capable, not alone.” After hearing those things a million times, it became heart knowledge. You just live differently when you know you’re cared for.